Addressing reporters at the Phnom Penh International Airport before leading a Cambodian People’s Party youth trip to China, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s oldest son, Hun Manet, called for unity and pledged not to politicise his participation in a Khmer New Year’s parade during an upcoming visit the United States.
“Holding a ceremony for Khmer New Year is for all Cambodian people and not for only this or that party – it is not political,” he said.
“We will have no intention to use a microphone in the parade to speak propaganda [or] about politics,” he added.
Manet then doubled down on the pledge, suggesting the US event’s organisers invite members of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party to the event as well.
“This time is not for participating on behalf of the CPP or CNRP but on behalf of all Cambodian brethren,” he said, going on to invite those with different views to discuss the issues with him.
Manet’s invitation to participate in the annual cultural event in Long Beach, California’s Cambodia Town, was met with criticism by Cambodian expatriate groups, such as the Cambodia-America Alliance, which warned that the event will be boycotted and protested in a March 7 press release.
In a Facebook post yesterday, Manet noted that past invitees included CNRP vice president Kem Sokha. Manet also said he would use the trip to present Cambodia as an “investment opportunity”.